Jul 02 AT 12:00 PM Dima Aryeh 83 Comments

HTC kills the One S, leaves Android 4.1, broken promises at the scene


The HTC One S isn’t a very old phone. It was released less than a year and a half ago, so many owners are still stuck in a contract. And in an unsurprising move, HTC has killed the device off, stating that it will not be receiving any more Android updates. Yes, it’ll be stuck on its current build of Android 4.1.1. Don’t you think that’s a bit sad?

We can confirm that the HTC One S will not receive further Android OS updates and will remain on the current version of Android and HTC Sense. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed the HTC One S to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.HTC

If you’re a One S owner, you should be very upset. HTC promised you this update. They specifically stated a few months ago that the One S would be one of the devices to get Sense 5 and a bunch of new features from the One.

HTC will be offering upgrades to some of its existing devices in the next few months, including global variants of HTC One X, One X+, One S and the HTC Butterfly. Also, note that some features enabled by the new HTC One hardware will not be available in the software updates.HTC

The HTC One S is a plenty capable phone, so why isn’t it getting the update it was promised? Most likely, HTC just wants to give up on their older “mid-range” devices, even though the One S was a very nice device. But as Samsung updates their old phones, whether high-end or low-end, with new versions of Android and TouchWiz, this makes HTC look so bad. The Samsung Galaxy S II, which is a year older than the One S, runs a newer version of Android. This move does nothing but disappoint people and break brand loyalty. Who wants to buy a phone that might be abandoned so soon?

It’s sad that HTC took this path. Obviously, nothing good will come out of it. Is HTC really serious about keeping their phones updated? Have they really changed? Will the HTC One Mini face the same fate down the line? The One S was just too dang young. What do you think of HTC killing off the One S?

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • Richard Ahlquist

    Simple truth that will get you far in life, phone manufacturers lie. HTC when they said the One S would get sense 5 etc likely had millions in inventory, they weren’t about to tell you the truth and stagnate them on the shelves. They all lie to make a buck.

    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for HTC

      • jamal adam

        First time I agree with you. HTC is one and done for me (pun intended).

    • Justin

      I think we should demand compensation, I bought this phone and it should damn well work as long as my contract is valid.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    This is definitely going to hurt them from a PR standpoint. I understand how this could sound like it makes financial sense if you’re not looking at the big picture, but once you step back and look at the big picture, I think this is the wrong decision.

    • Louis A

      The definitely lose any trust and loyalty they had from me. I will have to think twice going forward before I buy any HTC product.

      • Jorge Eslava

        I feel the same way. Even though I don’t use HTC anymore I still had trust for them. This will definetly have an impact when making future decisions.

      • Andy

        Absolutely. I won’t think twice. I won’t even think once. I’ll probably go for a Nexus next.

    • Max.Steel

      It might make a little financial sense now in the short run but in the long run, they’ve lost brand loyalty and trust which means fewer sales of most of their future devices in the long run.

    • jamal adam

      They can’t build any brand recognition if they lose customer’s trust and loyalty. Also this will make people more hesitant to buy their devices because they are worried that a future device will not get an update. For example, the One mini, will it be left behind like the One S next year and what of the One and other future smartphones that HTC is planing to release.

      If they are trying to get their brand to be recognized then it starts with the consumer and showing them that they care and will and can provide their smartphones with updates otherwise, it looks like they simply disconnect the cord, so to speak, as soon as the customer has bought the phone and has walked out of the store. Brand recognition means that they provide a high standard of service for their devices as well as their customers and doing something like this will not be in their best interest.

    • c1liu

      I think if we step back and look at the big picture, the mistake was HTC making promises they can’t keep. What they are doing isn’t much worse or different from anyone else. The phone is more than 1 yr old now. In the world of mobile phones, that’s old. Also.. there are usually tons of posts from people about how you can just root the phone to get the latest Android build, and customize it however you like. Some of these people would argue to the death that this is the point of choosing Android. What happened? Did everyone suddenly get lazy?

  • Dustin Earley

    I’ve almost bought this phone several times because I want a Sense 5 device, and this phone feels amazing in the hand. Too bad. Guess I’m glad I didn’t.

  • jamal adam

    I just managed to get one a little under two week ago and it’s already been stabbed in the heart. I am really upset, it’s like been shrugged of like we One S owners don’t matter at all. This is not the way to go for HTC and I was really rooting for them too.

    • sven

      return it.

      • jamal adam

        bought it on craigslist :(

    • Deveal2014

      You get with you pay for. Should have bought a new flagship. But the Htc one s is a solid phone anyway with or without the update

  • inviolable

    Sold mine months ago, but this is weak.

  • http://technicquill.com Jess Blanchard

    Makes me glad I went with Samsung.

    • R.S

      As am I!

      One by one I’ve seen people get burned by HTC (myself included) and switch to a Samsung phone.

      Luckily, even though some purchased their HTC phone after asking my opinion, they don’t hold it against me.

      Needless to say, now, if people ask what I think of getting an HTC phone, I tell them “I’d personally go with someone other than HTC. However, as long as you are happy with how the phone is when you buy it, and are fine with not receiving as many updates or as quickly as other brands, then go ahead and buy an HTC phone if you really want it.”

    • c1liu

      Does anyone else own a Samsung Galaxy SII? Because even if they gave me Android 10.0 on it here and now, I would not want this phone. It feels cheap, doesn’t fit in the hand well either. It seems to be terrible whether rooted or not, stock or custom ROM. I’ve tried like every possible ROM on xda forums there is. I’ve also owned the Vibrant in the past, which I liked better, and the Nexus S. But Samsung phones have power buttons that die on you a year later. Happened to 2 out of 3 of my phones.

  • Arthur

    With Google’s Nexus brand becoming a larger force in the handset world with each new iteration, there is less and less reason for people to settle for carrier branded subsidized phones.

    If you can pony up $150 to $250 for a subsidized carrier phone, there is no excuse not to be able to shell out an additional $50 (using the 8GB N4 as an example) for a Nexus device (this only applies for those in the US).

    It also doesn’t help that the One S was a mid-range device when released which in the Android world almost guarantees the updates on it will be slow to come if ever.

    • 3165dwayne

      Did you hear yourself? 8gb!? What the hell am I supposed to do with 8gb. The almost 13gb is also too small. If they had a 32gb model for a little more then OK (not 250 more). The one gives me about 25gb which is just about enough.

      • InfiniteDroid

        My poor friend, you should have bought a galaxy s4. Its latest update allowed for moving apps to SD. Then you just root it and finds a custom no-touchwiz ROM where the drev included this feature and BOOM you got a Nexus with 128 gigs of storage

        • Deli

          For me and family, no sdcard no deal. Removable battery is a must.

  • Louis A

    I think this might not hurt them very much because a big percentage of consumers will not know this information only people like us that’s on here will. But, I feel stupid now convincing my friends to buy the HTC One and I was also looking forward to buying it as soon as it gets on verizon. I will have to pump the brakes now hard and see what else other manufactures will bring to the market. Bad move HTC, bad move!

    • Deveal2014

      This isn’t a bad move. Its a midrange handset and the first update didn’t go so well. Alot of users complained about it.

      • Deli

        So you’re saying htc sends out a buggy update – which points to poor QC and competency and now they just give up totally on the phone and the customer. Such a confidence builder!

  • jerrbomb

    And to believe I was such a loyal fan of HTC starting with the OG Evo.. I got the HTC One for my girl and I’m afraid hers will be obsolete after its next update..

  • Avi_r7

    And this is the reason i HATE android..
    When Samsung Galaxy Note was launched, i bought it..and waited –waited for JB update..
    Frustrated, i sold it.. and got a Lumia 920 ..
    This is where i love Apple.. It treats it’s devices equally.. :)

    • Dirge

      Have fun not getting an update past WP8. :) Just like the Lumia 900 didn’t go past 7.5

    • M0nk

      The Note 1 had JB almost a year before. Now I’m running 4.2.2 on my 20 month old device (Note 1 International) and it works great. No real need to change the phone this year…

      Samsung is getting better than the rest, at least updating their devices, even after 2 years of sales. Sony is the other player that undestood that they need to support their devices. For me, my next device is Sony or Samsung.

    • M0nk

      Other thing, good luck with Apple and Nokia.
      Apple updates some of their devices (Not all), but most new features are not present for the “not so old” devices, so the update is useless (Siri in iphone 4, maps, etc).
      Windows Phone / Nokia have a real bad reputation with updates. Their Lumia 900 flaghship will never receive WP8 and it was still selling when WP8 was released. I donĀ“t think that the 920 will receive anything higher than windows 8…

  • S. Kyle Davis

    And people tried to say I was wrong when I argued that the S 4 would get updates longer than the HTC One. Now, maybe things will be different for the One. Maybe now that they have a single hero handset, they’ll support it longer. But with this as an indication, I just don’t buy it.

    Glad I went with the S 4.

    • xaml

      This is about the One S, not the One.

      And HTC… shame on you. At least you could have had the decency to bring up some sort of technical explanation like when you abandonned the Desire, for example that the chipped off colour caused the device to develop an allergy against the number 4.2.

  • Jon

    It is a shame to those who believe in brand loyalty. Thankfully I’m not one of those people. I buy what I like regardless of who makes it. I think most people used HTC way before Android came out but the market changed when Apple entered the arena. I’m currently using a Note 2 but I’m looking to Sony next for that beast of a phone Xperia Z ultra.

  • alexanderharri3

    Coming from HTC Thunderbolt and all its broken promises (although they finally did bring it 4.0 seven months late…), I was considering the DNA on Verizon….but just went S4 because of how well HTC breaks promises and forgets to update their devices. Samsung takes care of their customers, and despite a lesser piece of hardware build quality wise, the S4 wins over the One in my book simply from the product support perspective.

    • Deveal2014

      No they don’t. If you would have bought the Samsung DROID Charge instead of htc thunderbolt your phone would never have gotten updated. Atleast Htc updated the Thunderbolt this year. Samsung didn’t update the Charge not one time & they came out about the same time.

  • surg3d

    Sad news… As much as I love their hardware I’m leaning more and more away from HTC for my next phone. :(

  • playa

    I had a htc hero years ago. They did the same thing with that phone. Same kind of strategy. Promised updates then just suddenly abandoned it.

  • CTown

    Does this mean that the AT&T One X is dead? Don’t they share most of their internals?

  • SGB101

    Where is the ‘one more nail for HTC’ man, when it’s actually appropriate!

    This is a very sad affair HTC

    • Hom0ncruse

      Relax, im here…

  • Deveal2014

    It’s a midrange phone who’s shocked. The first update was met by a lot of user backlash, so it’s good they pulled this one. And htc is excellent at updates. Every htc phone I owned has been updated before Samsung has pushed an update. I’m not new to android been here since day 1

    • redraider133

      Htc is terrible with updates. They have been for years.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say HTC is excellent at updates. It really isn’t.

  • Loler

    A hahaha, buy HTC you get what you deserve.

  • JAB

    I had an HTC Hero and a Nexus S. I really liked the Hero but the lack of updates wasn’t very user friendly. So I moved to the Nexus S. The updates were promised but they were very slow! I’ve given up on Android and moved on to another platform that will update the phone longer than I’ll have my contract.

  • OnIn2

    OEM always say they’ll update, sometimes they do, usually they don’t. Don’t expect anything other than the version that’s already on the phone when you purchase the device.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      When I purchased a Galaxy S II with Gingerbread, I expected at least ICS. Not only did I get ICS, and not only did I get Jelly Bean, but I also got the new TouchWiz from the Galaxy S III along with all of the smart features and perks that came with the S III. It breathed life into the aging device, and I love Samsung for that.

      • OnIn2

        Samsung seems to lead the rest of the OEMs. Lord know LG hasn’t updated my G2x

  • redraider133

    This isn’t what htc needs. They already have users hesitant with their poor update history and this doesn’t help any. There is no reason this shouldn’t get updated with the specs it has.

  • Deveal2014

    I don’t understand why ppl this htc has a poor update history. The stats say says otherwise http://bgr.com/2012/12/21/android-updates-manufacturers-carriers-262823/

    • Dirge

      That link talks about update speed, not update consistency.

  • jerrbomb

    Lol.. There are so many down votes.. Guess people don’t like the additive insult to injury.. But in reality it isn’t that way at all.. Just being real about a company who disappoints their loyal customers.. I’m one of those customers…

  • Bryan

    And this is exactly why I just bought a Nexus 4 instead of going with HTC or Sammy. I have had two HTCs in the past and not been happy with updates.

  • Mike C.

    I’ve got a HTC One X. Nice HW but HTC’s software means it will be the last HTC for me. Only wish the Google didn’t cripple the Nexus phones by putting too little flash memory in there and no SD card reader.

    • SGB101

      I’ve got the one X, rooted cm10.1 so the software doesn’t bother me. But the battery life is worse that, the worst thing you can think of, times 2, then add 1, f-it add another one. Well I went out and got a note2 and it may be plastic and not the best looker, but dam it got a hell of a battery. As I run cm10.1 the software isn’t an issue.

      Because of the sealed battery I won’t be buying HTC or a nexus, or any other make that seals the battery. I like an sd slot but I could live with out it, but in a toss up between two device, the one with the sd would always win.

      I’m not the average android user, like most of us here, I’m not bothered about extra space for music or apps, it for the back ups, dam they can be big.

      Well off topic, as usual so let’s get back on it, I actually liked the one s, it’s still one of the nicest ‘smaller’ devices around and got a decent spec, the software support wouldn’t put me off, (cm), but the average man just got screwed. But you know what, the average Joe will never know cos they don’t know jelly been from cupcake, hell you could tell them they are running banana smoothy.

      My Bro in law just got the HTC one, his first thought was I preferred the software on his old sensation xe. 2.3 it is!

  • Eroded Fallacy

    I’m not surprised at all. But let’s see what happens if there is enough outcry they may change their minds. But no big deal for those who really love the phone they can always flash a modern rom although it isn’t the solve all cure especially for the laymen who own phones but don’t even know how they work.

  • Ronaldo

    Typical HTC failure to support their devices. This sort of thing is why I went with a Galaxy S4 instead of a One. Got burned by their lies too many times.

  • Aluminum54

    Honestly, I don’t want Sense 5 on my device – I rather it be how it is on 4+ and be happy with that.

    But to be fair – the “promise” only lists global variants – doesn’t say anything about the US…

  • chris0101

    Stuff like this is why I do not buy HTC anymore. I hate to say it, but I am sick of broken promises (or should we call them lies) and also the poor product quality of many of their phones (I had a Desire that got dust under the screen and broken volume buttons).

    HTC seems to have a common theme – their phones leave a good first impression (look at the HTC One for example), but they do not age well, nor does HTC seem to put a priority on long term customer retention (and their customer service isn’t good).

  • aranea

    And that’s the reason I’m sticking with a Nexus phone.

  • Khoa

    First LG, and now HTC is another phone manufacturer I will not buy from them.

  • Alan

    Now an HTC one but with plain vanilla Android updated via Google would be the one for me..
    wait that almost sound like the MotoX.

    I love my HTC and after experiencing the cheap Samsung build i’d probably still buy another one but it would be “nice” not “essential” for it to keep getting upgrades

  • mecky33

    This is not the first time that HTC has done this. They promised a year ago that the Droid Incredible two and the HTC rhyme among other phones would get system updates to newer versions on Android. I am still waiting for that update to happen while I ponder if I really want to buy another HTC phone…

  • TGFV

    Not a very smart move.
    Now that probably a lot of people are thinking whether to buy the GS4 or HTC One, this might for a significant amount of possible customers make a difference.

  • donger

    HTC should be able to update that phone, they just chose not to.

  • Sameer

    HTC scare that they are not able to handle the possibility of broken the HTC ones when user will update to latest version. Its worse customer support in the history of smartphone. I just purchase HTC one s few month ago… What i will do now???
    Will i purchase the new version of HTC? HTC thinks in that way but i will never purchase the product of HTC in future.

  • DrCando75

    Here’s how I minimize dissapointment:
    1) Buy the best flagship phone that meets my aesthetic and hardware needs
    2) Root it and apply a custom ROM from an active, recognized
    3) Quit worrying about updates – they will come much faster now that the manufacturer AND. The carrier are out of the way.

  • faizal

    I think..htc know how far their device can go..i have been a fan of htc from htc daimond till now(htc one) and i still love htc.their hardwear is more better than samsung device.lot of my friend use samsung.they always got problem with their hardwear,such as lcd burn,system crash.main bord burn.so many problem.i will always support htc.

  • Patrick PErez

    Is HTC’s slow, for some devices, update policy not mitigated at all by the fact that they now leave their devices open for development/rooting? It seems to me those most concerned about the latest .xx updates would be able to go the stock route.

  • TruFactz

    Not a good look HTC. Not a goof look at all. Its funny, cause you guys were the leaders in the update game a few years back. WTF happened????

  • Bastard Son of Phil Knight

    Phuck HTC next phone will be the Samsung Galaxy 5

  • Castiel

    Im actually not surprised although dissapointed considering this was my first super phone, i had The G1 when it first came out and they promised and promised and just gave up on it, and so did the motorola with cliq xt, I was expecting this to last at least 2 years though , but i only had this a year and there already calling it quits,i am pretty sad about this. And im almost done paying off the phone so now i kind of dont want a htc phone since they killed it so quickly. I have no idea where to go to next :/

    • SloppyMagic

      try a BlackBerry Z10, you will love it.

  • Kingsley

    There was a screen bug with the HTC TyTN II that was acknowledged by HTC, yet they did not issue an update to fix the problem. I would not buy an more HTC phones in future.

  • Michael J King

    Blackberry did the same thing with their playbook, made promises of future updates( to clear inventory?) and then back tracked.

  • jfr

    note to myself. dont count on htc to support their phone. i have this phone for less that a year and it already abandonned. incredible…


    Can’t update my HTC one S. But am ok. I regard it as a disposable plastic bag. But will think twice before picking another HTC. What is a toy if u can’t play around with it?

    HTC don’t forsake ur loyal girlfriends.


    HTC one S. The beauty nd the beast